The Magellan Triton 2000 is the first GPS receiver that allows you to take photos, and record and play audio files that can be attached to waypoints, which is a great way to ‘diarise’ your walk.
Triton is also the first hand-held GPS to offer compatibility with National Geographic TOPO US State series and US Weekend Explorer 3D maps series. These highly detailed nationwide topographic maps, based on the USGS 1:24,000 series, are superb quality. This sounds great – until you realise you are stuck with rather dull, grey spaces when you head to the mountains because there are no contour-quality maps of the UK available for the Triton.
I took the Magellan Triton 2000out in the Lakes and found it reasonably easy to use. Most importantly of all I could turn it on and get basic operation rapidly. The bright screen flashed into life and proudly displayed my location as a small triangle on a grey screen with a road a few kilometres to the north, plus a grid reference of course.
Like most GPS receivers, reading the screen in the sun is not easy, but at least the navigation screens use large type to make it as simple as possible. I also particularly liked the ESC (escape) key at the bottom
as it allowed me to easily backtrack through the function screens when I got lost within the software.
More in-depth operation requires the use of a plastic stylus that is located in the plastic casing. I could tap the screen and zoom through features at pace, but it would be easily lost – and if such an accessory is going to be needed in a blizzard I’d want something far larger and perhaps attached by cord to the GPS housing.
There is an electronic magnetic compass, which means magnetic north is clearly indicated – important for pointing you in the right direction from the summit.
The big plastic loop on the top looks useful for hooking the unit to a rucksack, but it was too small to fit onto my standard climbing karabiners. However, to be fair I could fit a smaller accessory ‘not for climbing’ karabiner through this loop.
The basic functions work well, and you have the added benefit of a camera, a voice recorder and an integrated flashlight. However, what Trail readers really need is OS-quality mapping on screen, which is available for the US market and on other GPS receivers like SatMap and Garmin Topo in the UK. Magellan say that UK OS-style mapping will be launched in a couple of months so keep your eyes on Trail. But, until OS-quality mapping appears on screen, brands can include as many gimmicks as they like, but UK hill-walkers will still be better off with a more functional GPS receiver.
Display 6x4.3cm, colour, 320x240 pixels
Power 2 x AA batteries4504
Battery life 10 hours
Computer interface USB port
Number of stored map routes 40
Number of stored waypoints 2,000
Weight 224g (including batteries)
Made in Philippines
Stockist details – tel. 00800 6243 5526; www.magellangps.com
The Magellan Triton 2000 is easy to use; built-in 2 megapixel camera; built-in torch; colour screen; voice recorder; waterproof; electronic magnetic compass. But drawbacks are price; size; lack of OS-quality mapping; stylus required for operation of screen menus. Overall, it’s bursting with extra features, but lacking more useful basic functionality like OS-quality mapping and a stylus that you cannot lose.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2008